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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:41 pm 
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When you read the Scriptures, are you allowed to have your own interpretations of them, or do you have to agree with the Church's interpretation?

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I never got the doctrine of Sola Scriptura since it is also a tradition about the Scriptures that only came around about 500 years ago. And the canon of Scripture was decided upon by Tradition, the Council of Hippo, but then the Reformers decided which books would be in the Protestant Bible so how can the doctrine of Sola Scriptura hold when the very doctrine itself goes against Sola Scruptura and the men who came up with it decided among themselves which books would be included in the Scriptura of Sola Scriptura?

Well someone had to decide which books would be in the Bible. Thay couldn't very well just throw in whatever early church documents happened to be in existence. (I'm not in any way saying that's what any denominations have done.) The books we have now are merely the ones they chose. Any believer can read the other books of his own accord and interpret them as the Holy Spirit leads, just as with the current Protestant Canon. So basically you believe the Scriptures are a product of the Church?

Also, do you believe Protestants are still a part of the Church or were the "kicked out" when they put the Scriptures above the Church and Tradition?

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:14 pm 
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It depends on the doctrine, there are some issues that are dogma that all Orthodox must agree on. For example the Nicean Creed, we say it during each liturgy. That the Eucharist is literally the body and blood of Christ is another one. There are others but there are also a lot of issues that are not dogma.
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The books we have now are merely the ones they chose.
The books that make up the Protestant Canon were selected by the Reformers 500 years ago, I argue that is a tradition which goes against the doctrine of Sola Scriptura itself and makes that doctrine self defeating. But to help clarify this discussion could you define what you mean when you say Sola Scruptura?

I believe that Scripture was given to us in the context of the Church and that to interpret it correctly we need to do so as a Church not as an individual, to build on the wisdom of the past 2,000 years of the Church.

I believe that Protestants are missing the fullness of the Church. Also I would never say Tradition and Church above Scripture but working together.


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:31 pm 
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I mean the doctrine that all knowledge essential to salvation is found in the Scriptures which can be interpreted by the common man as witnessed to by the Holy Spirit. I don't see how the Reformers selecting the Protestant Canon goes against Sola Scriptura.

However, this could turn into a very drawn out argument, and this is just a Q&A topic.

Not to mention this is all quite confusing for me. :p

So, what does that mean? Are Protestants not allowed to "fully partake in the Divine nature"?

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:43 pm 
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I am no historian, but I think the claim that the Reformers established the canon is dubious at best. I think the early church fathers had pretty much established what the canon was hundreds of years earlier. If you can point me to sources of your claim I would be appreciative.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:52 pm 
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It means that there is a lot more to Christianity than just Scripture, which is very important, or what can be interpreted by individuals versus the Church as a whole. I will define Sola Scriptura to explain my point not in an attempt to further the argument, because I agree I don't want to draw this point out. I think Sola Scruptura is saying that all the divinely inspired teachings of the Apostles and Jesus were written down in the New Testament, Orthodox do not believe that. We believe that there are divinely inspired teachings of the Apostles and Jesus that were passed down by oral teaching to the Orthodox Church today. That is what we mean when we say Tradition, with a capital T.

We would also say that the Seven Ecumenical Councils that defeated the early heresies and wrote the Nicean Creed are also divinely inspired not because they were made up of a bunch of important people a long time ago but that because they represented the entire Church at the time being lead by the Holy Spirit in their interpretation of both Scripture and Apostolic Tradition.

But no we would not say Protestant are not allowed to fully partake in the Divine nature, we can not judge a mans heart. We would say that the normative means of grace for becoming partakers of the Divine nature are found in the Orthodox Church.

Dr. Watson: I agree the Early Church Fathers established the canon at the Councils of Hippo and Carthage in 393 and 397 but that is not the canon the Protestant use today. Neither do the Protestants use the Catholic canon. The Protestant canon was established during the Reformation. http://orthodoxstudybible.com/index.php ... o_decides/


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:17 pm 
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Does your church follow the tradition of removing the alleluia during lent?

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:13 pm 
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We do not, I believe that's a Western tradition. The big change during Lent for us is the fasting and we do pre-sanctified liturgy during the week.


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:44 pm 
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What terms do you use when talking to your clergy-type people? Father, Priest, Pastor, Bishop...?

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:31 am 
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Priest is the formal term for the local leader of a parish, most of the time though we call our Priests; Father First Name, so my Priest is Father David. At the local parish level we also have Deacons, Sub-Deacons, and Readers and we would just call them by their first name with their title in front, for example: Deacon Peter.

On the regional and national level we have Bishops, who are addressed as Your Grace, but there are also several different types of Bishops. An Archbishop is a Bishop for a city or several regions, Metropolitan is a Bishop of a large city, and a Patriarch is the head Bishop for an entire country. An Archbishop or Metropolitan is addressed as Your Eminence. Patriarchs, and some Metropolitan, are addressed as Your Beatitude, while specific Patriarchs are addressed as Your Holiness or Your All Holiness. In referring but not addressing to a Bishop we simply call them by their Title First Name, so for example Metropolitan Jonah is the Bishop of Washington DC and all North America for the Orthodox Church of America.


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:42 pm 
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In light of that post, what do you think of verses like Matthew 23:8-12?

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:00 pm 
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I think that I don't call my priest Father in the same way I call God Father. Do you not call your male parent father?

I think that all of our clergy are servants and in our prayers and services that is very clear.


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:04 pm 
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Okay.

What about "Your Holiness or Your All Holiness"? Are these men truly holy, or are they sinful and human like the rest of us?

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:08 pm 
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They are sinful and human like the rest of us but are Holy because they have been set apart by God to be leaders in the Church. Not because of their own gifts or worth but because of God's will.


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Where in the Bible did God ordain Christians to be called "holy"? Did the New Testament churches call Paul "Your Holiness"? What about John, or Peter, or Silas? Where did this tradition of attributing holiness to depraved humans originate?

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:19 pm 
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American Eagle wrote:
Where in the Bible did God ordain Christians to be called "holy"?

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:24 pm 
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I guess the first point would be that the Orthodox Church doesn't understand depravity in the same way as you. We would say that man has been corrupted by sin but that since man was created good that nature is being redeemed. Man is not totally depraved and our Christian life is one of synergy with God.

As for the rest I don't know if the Apostles were called by these titles. That probably came about later and I wouldn't die on the hill of calling someone Your Holiness. But as bookworm points out we are called holy.


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:48 pm 
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I'm surprisingly satisfied by your answer.

Ayn Rand wrote:
We would say that man has been corrupted by sin but that since man was created good that nature is being redeemed.
Explain this. What do you mean by our nature "being redeemed"?

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:04 pm 
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I mean that our good nature from before the fall is still there. Man has a yearning for God but total depravity says we are completely unable to answer that yearning, if my understanding of total depravity is correct. Christ stands at the door and knocks, the synergy comes when we answer, which in my mind has to be an act of free will. And when we answer we begin living the life Christ had planned for us, participating by opening ourselves to the Holy Spirit who frees us from the corruption of this world by renewing, note the re there, our nature not creating a new nature but renewing the one we have.


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:50 am 
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Out of curiosity, what are some of the differences between the form of the Divine Liturgy and the Eastern Rite Catholic Mass?

Can you clarify the Eastern Orthodox teaching regarding the filioque? Wikipedia appears to indicate that there is a divsion in thinking between Orthodox theologians on this issue. If there is such a split, where do you fall? Do you think the Filioque issue is an insurmountable obstacle to an eventual Orthodox/Catholic reunion?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Or ... e_Filioque

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Last edited by Sherlock on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:09 am 
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Having never been to an Eastern Rite Catholic Mass I am not qualified to answer, I can ask the husband of a parishioner from my church who is Eastern Catholic next time I see him and get back to you on that.

The Eastern Orthodox teaching is that the Greek in the Creed is very specific and when the filioque is added it changes the meaning a great deal. It doesn't mean, as my understanding it does in the West, that the Holy Spirit is sent forth by the Father and the Son. In the Greek the meaning changes to the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and Son. A big differences in my mind.

Yes there are two different slightly more liberal schools of thoughts, the Paris school of thought led by Father Sergei Bulgakov who has several controversial views in Orthodoxy. Then there is the less liberal school of thought from Metropolitan Kallistos Ware who says that the misunderstanding is one of semantics, I lean in this direction as I don't think the point was to say that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and Son; you may correct me if I'm wrong in this.

As for it being an insurmountable obstacle, yes I do believe it is, simply because the Roman Catholics added to the Creed. I believe that is inexcusable and is one of several things that need to be addressed before, God willing, an eventual Orthodox/Catholic reunion.


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